UK Hosts SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships

Feb. 26, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky track and field teams will play host to their conference rivals this weekend at the 2009 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Nutter Field House all weekend.

Competition in the multi-events begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET with the women's pentathlon and the men's heptathlon. The meet schedule continues Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with select field events while running events kick off at 2:10 p.m. On Sunday, field events begin at 10:00 a.m. and running events start at 1:30 p.m. Live stats, the meet schedule and other information is available at the track and field page on UKathletics.com.

The Kentucky men's team is ranked at No. 19 in the country going into the SEC Championships. Ten men's squads will take the track this weekend - Mississippi State and Vanderbilt do not field a men's indoor squad. In addition to UK, six SEC men's squads are ranked in the latest top-25 poll released Wednesday. Those teams include No. 2 Arkansas, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Florida, No. 12 Georgia, No. 17 South Carolina and No. 20 Tennessee.

UK comes into Championship Week with 10 provisional NCAA marks in hand and several nationally-ranked performances.

In the 60m hurdles, senior Mikel Thomas ranks fifth in the country with his school record time of 7.74. Thomas was also a member of the 4x400m relay squad that holds the sixth-best time nationally of 3:08.57. Senior Brandon Austin, freshman Justin Austin and senior Jose Acevedo are the other members of the relay squad.

In the 200m, dash Justin Austin (21.13) and Acevedo (21.22) rank 16th and 22nd in the nation, respectively. Acevedo also stands in a tie for 26th nationally in the 400m dash at a clip of 47.15.

Thomas and Acevedo are featured in a story on Cat Scratches, the official blog of Kentucky athletics, at UKathletics.com.

Senior Gordon McKenzie rates in a tie for 13th in the country in the 60m dash with a time of 6.68 while Justin Austin is in a tie at the 20th slot nationwide at 6.71.

Off the track, two seniors rank in the shot put. Chase Madison's throw of 61-7.75 is tenth nationally while Rashaud Scott lands in 17th with a toss of 59-10.25. Scott also holds the 14th spot in the country for the weight throw with a distance measuring 67-0.75.

Last season at the 2008 Indoor Championships, the Cats finished sixth overall with 48 points after strong performances from athletes like Freshman Field Athlete of the Year Derrick Locke and Scott an All-SEC Second Team selection.

On the women's side, all 12 schools will compete on the track. The Cats are joined by five ranked squads, No.2 Tennessee, No.9 LSU, No. 18 Auburn, No. 20 Arkansas and No. 21 Florida.

The Cats claim four provisional NCAA marks going into the Championships.

Senior Ashley Trimble leads the SEC in the heptathlon and ranks 10th in the nation with 3,989 points.

Junior Heather Smith's school-record weight throw toss of 62-10.75 leads the conference and rates 20th nationally.

In the 800m run, senior Jessica Ortman's time of 2:08.32 stands 29th in the country.

In the women's shot put, sophomore Mary Angell leads a strong contingent of throwers with a distance of 50-0.75 that ranks 30th nationwide. Fellow throwers sophomore Jennifer Svoboda and senior Emilee Strot rank sixth and seventh, respectively, within the shot put in the SEC just behind Angell in fifth.

Last season at the Indoor Championships, the Cats finished fifth overall with 57 points. Trimble returns as an All-SEC performer in the pentathlon, while Jessica and Jenna Ortman come back as the vital core of the 2008 distance medley relay squad that earned All-SEC Second Team honors.

Be sure to check out live stats all weekend available at UKathletics.com with recaps following the conclusion of each day's action.